Name: Mike

From: Born in Australia, grew up in Essex, UK

Favorite toys as a kid

LEGO bricks were my absolute favorite. I’m the youngest in quite a big family, so I inherited all the LEGO elements that had accumulated before I arrived.

And I loved drawing stuff. I designed lots of cars and boats.

Top tips on how to stay creative

  • Allow time and space to spark your imagination. Have some kind of material ready to be creative with, whether it’s LEGO bricks, pen and paper, paint, yarn, fabric or food, and be open to what happens.

  • Let go of fear and just be experimental. The fear of a blank space or a blank piece of paper is possibly the hardest thing to get past. But now is the best time ever to get inspired by books, blogs and online communities.

  • Learn as you go. Every time you try, you will see new opportunities.

People who inspired you

My dad was passionate about veteran cars and was often working on something in the garage. I liked to help out and also restored a little wooden sailing boat. I always had my hands dirty.

I had a great design and technology teacher in high school. She was obviously very interested in woodwork, metalwork and design. She inspired us to push what we could do and to make things in different ways.

Places that inspired you

My dad’s garage. But mostly it’s just inspirational being around people who love what they do.

Studying design at school helped me stay creative. That’s where I started seriously thinking about what I could do with different materials, tools and machines.

What does creativity mean to you?

You need to take the time if you want to be creative. Your day fills up with more things you have to do as you grow older, and the time to try new things gets diminished little by little. Playfulness is not seen as a priority. But play doesn’t have to be “pretend” – there are lots of ways you can be playful. Even if you’re not in a traditionally creative job, the way you do your job, hobbies, the things you’re passionate about can help you stay creative, too.

Favorite thing to build with six bricks

Animals. It’s great if you’ve got some eyes as well. And dinosaurs.